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How to Socialize Your German Shepherd Puppy

Socialization is crucial to the health and wellbeing of your German Shepherd. Socialization is the process of getting your dog accustomed to the sights and sounds of the outside world, as well as proper behaviour around people and other dogs. Proper socialization will not only prevent your German Shepherd from acting aggressively or inappropriately, it will also give them the skills to stay calm and friendly in a variety of situations. For the best results, it’s a good idea to start socializing your German Shepherd puppy as early as 4 to 12 weeks. Here are some tips and tricks for socializing your German Shepherd puppy from the dog training specialists at Ulvilden German Shepherds.

Put Your Puppy in a Wide Range of Situations

With any dog breed, your training process begins as soon as you bring them home. German Shepherds are a particularly active breed that need a lot of exercise and stimulation, so their socialization training is especially important. By not introducing proper socialization, you run the risk of stunting the development of an otherwise happy and fun-loving dog.

Some specialist recommend introducing your puppy to 100 people and taking them to 50 places within the first 12 weeks, but that’s on the extreme end of the scale. If you introduce your German Shepherd to at least one new person each day and take them to two or three new locations each week, they will already start feeling more comfortable interacting in the world.

Control Their Response to Stimuli

The world is completely new for a puppy so the first time your German Shepherd hears a certain noise or sees an unfamiliar object, they may be frightened or startled initially. The best way to help your German Shepherd is to monitor and control their response to stimuli by slowly introduce things that may initially scare them. They second time they may be curious, and the third and fourth time they may become accustomed to the new sound or object. Don’t react or punish your puppy for their frightened response. Instead, take note of what frightens them and slowly introduce it to them over time so they can get comfortable with it gradually.

Proper socialization will ensure that your German Shepherd is as happy, friendly and calm as possible. Without the right socialization training, your German Shepherd could become aggressive or overly fearful and timid. For more information about socializing your German Shepherd puppy, contact us today at Uviliden German Shepherds.

Everything You Need to Know about Trimming Your German Shepherd’s Nails

Grooming is an important part of taking care of your German Shepherd. One aspect of grooming that German Shepherd owners often overlook is nail trimming. All German Shepherds need their nails clipped occasionally unless they wear their nails down naturally. Overgrown nails can affect your dog’s gait and make it physically uncomfortable for them to walk. Here is some more information about how to got about trimming your dog’s nails from the team at Ulvilden German Shepherds.

The Benefits of Trimmed Nails for Your German Shepherd

There are many benefits of keeping the nails of your German Shepherd clean and trim including the following:

– Trimming prevents nails from splitting, which can cause your German Shepherd a lot of pain, bleeding, and potentially lead to a trip to the veterinarian.
– Torn nails from lack of trimming can be extremely painful for your dog and lead to infection.
– Nails provide traction for German Shepherds, allowing them to walk and run without slipping. Overgrown nails can affect your dog’s ability to walk properly.

How to Trim You German Shepherd’s Nails

If you trim your dog’s nails too severely you could end up cutting into the quick, causing your German Shepherd serious pain and potentially even cause them to bleed. The best way to avoid cutting into the quick is to trim your dog’s nails in small increments, scaling them back little by little with specialized dog clippers over the course of a few days.

When Should You Trim Your German Shepherd’s Nails?

There is no hard and fast rule for when a dog should have their nails trimmed. Your German Shepherd’s age, activity level, and diet will all affect how fast their nails grow. As a general rule of thumb, your dog should have their nails clipped a few times a month. If you hear a clacking sound when they walk, it’s an indication that their nails have grown too long.

Nail trimming is an important part of grooming for your German Shepherd. Not only will trimmed nails keep your dog walking proud, they will also prevent infections and other health concerns. For more information about German Shepherd grooming and general German Shepherd care tips, contact us today at Ulvilden German Shepherds.

German Shepherds and Noise Phobia

It is very common for German Shepherds, especially puppies, to be frightened of loud noises such as thunder claps and other sudden commotions. While noise phobias aren’t a big deal on their own, if left untreated they can lead to more serious behavioral problems such as an excessive and irrational fear response to external stimuli. Proper training is required to ensure that your German Shepherd doesn’t develop bad habits in terms of responding to noise. Here is some more information about German Shepherds and noise phobia, and how you can help them conquer their fear.

What are the signs of noise phobia?

The signs of noise phobia in German Shepherds can manifest in a number of ways, including the following:

-Excessive panting
-Pacing
-Barking
-Drooling
-Trembling or shaking
-Chewing or biting
-Urinating or defecating

During extreme weather events such as thunderstorms, your German Shepherd may become especially sensitive to changes in the barometric pressure and other signs of weather changes that humans may not be able to perceive. In this case, they may start acting out in anticipation of loud and disturbing noises.

How can I help my German Shepherd manage their noise phobia?

Unlike other types of training, you should refrain from a reward and punishment system to manage noise phobia. Punishment will likely raise their anxiety level, and coddling them too much can provide positive reinforcement for negative habits. Some tactics you can use to help ease your German Shepherd’s noise phobia include:

-Turning on soothing music or TV during moments of loud noise such as thunderstorms or vacuuming.
-Counter conditioning: engaging your German Shepherd in play or giving them a chew toy in order to distract them from loud noises
-Desensitization: playing automated CD tracks of storms and other low levels can help your German Shepherd to get more accustom to loud noises when the occur

Noise phobia are normal for many dog breeds including German Shepherds. If this fear starts affecting the behaviour of your German Shepherd, it’s time to implement strategies to help them overcome their phobia. For more information about training and taking care of your German Shepherd or to make an appointment to visit the dog currently available for adoption, contact us today at Ulvilden German Shepherds.

Health Eating Habits for Your German Shepherd

German Shepherds are a muscular breed with high energy levels, so good nutrition is especially important to their health and well-being. German Shepherds tend to have a healthy appetite, but the wrong diet could lead to obesity and other health problems so it’s important to provide your dog with the healthiest options possible. High-Protein ingredients that promote a glossy coat and regular digestion are the best to keep your German Shepherd healthy and satisfied. Here is some more information about healthy eating habits for your German Shepherd.

Calorie Intake

German Shepherds are large dogs, usually weighing between 60 and 90 pounds once full-grown. This means that they require a certain caloric intake per day to sustain themselves. Older German Shepherds within this weight range require between 1,272 and 1,540 calories per day, while younger, active German Shepherds need between 1,740 and 2,100 calories per day. Dog food has information about calories per serving on its packaging. Make sure to carefully read this information and serve your dog accordingly. German Shepherds with arthritis or other mobility issues may require a reduced-calorie diet to avoid weight gain.

Protein

In addition to the right amount of calories, German Shepherds require a high-protein diet to ensure proper growth and energy levels. It’s recommended that foods should contain at least18 percent protein and 5 percent fat for adult dogs, and 22 percent protein and 8 percent fat for lactating mothers and growing puppies. Most dog breeds are fed special high-protein puppy food for the first year, but German Shepherds should only be fed puppy food for the first 6 months. The early switch to adult food helps to prevent too-rapid growth, which can lead to joint and bone problems down the line.

Just like humans, German Shepherds require careful attention to their diets to ensure their health. Since German Shepherds are a larger dog breed, they need the right balance of protein and caloric intake to maintain their energy levels. It’s also crucial to avoid overfeeding, which can lead to obesity and other health problems. At Ulvilden German Shepherds, our experienced staff can give you all the information you need to help your German Shepherd grow healthy, happy and strong. For more information about our services, and to organize a visit to see the dogs currently available for adoption, contact us today at Ulvilden German Shepherds.

How to Keep Your German Shepherd's Coat Glossy, Shiny and Healthy

A glossy coat is a good visual indication of your German Shepherd’s overall health and well-being. Most veterinarians will tell you that a dog’s dull coat is a sign of poor nutritional habits. A dull coat can also be caused by health problems such as parasites, infections, and kidney conditions, so if you notice your dogs coat is looking more lacklustre than normal, consult a professional as soon as possible. Here are some tips and tricks for bringing the shine back to your German Shepherd’s coat.

Bathe Regularly (But Don’t Overdo It)

Bathing your German Shepherd regularly is a good way to keep their coat glossy and clean. Make sure to use a moisturizing shampoo that won’t irritate the skin. Apply a natural conditioner containing vitamin E to the fur after washing to sooth the skin and hair. Bathing your German Shepherd is important but be careful not to overdo it — washing too frequently can strip the natural oils from your dog’s fur, resulting in a dull coat.

Food Supplements

Since a dull coat is often indicative of poor nutrition, try changing your dog’s diet to improve the glossiness of their coat. Seafood such as tuna, sardines and salmon contain omega-3 fatty acids that contribute to a shiny coat. Stirring a teaspoon of vegetable oil into your dog’s food can also improve the health and look of your dog’s coat. Sunflower, flaxseed, olive, coconut, and safflower oil can all improve the coat of your dog, but too much can trigger digestion problems and diarrhea so be diligent with your dosing.

Your German Shepherd will be much happier and healthier with a shiny coat of fur. Through these simple grooming and diet tips, you can keep your dog’s coat shining for a long time to come. For more information about German Shepherds and how to properly care for them, contact us today at Ulvilden German Shepherds.

Signs You’re Not Ready to Adopt a German Shepherd

Adopting a German Shepherd is a big step for any potential pet owner. German Shepherds make wonderful companions that can provide a lifetime of joy, but they also require a serious amount of care and attention. Many pet owners, especially young or first-timers, rush into adoption without considering the responsibilities of being a pet owner. Here are just a few of the signs that you’re not ready to adopt a German Shepherd just yet.
 
Your Finances Aren’t In Order
 
We all go through difficulties with money from time to time, but if you don’t have a regular income or aren’t prepared to set aside some of your income for pet expenses, you may not be ready to own a German Shepherd. Dog ownership is fulfilling but it doesn’t come cheap—you’ll need to be able to afford vet appointments, including preventative medications, procedures and vaccinations, plus food, toys, treats and other German Shepherd essentials. If you can’t commit to these expenses, you may want to hold off on pet ownership until you have the financial security to fully provide for your German Shepherd.
 
You Move Around A Lot
 
If you’re the jet-setting type, owning a German Shepherd may not be for you. Although these dogs will be fine with a sitter or OK to travel for the occasional vacation, moving around a lot can  be difficult on a German Shepherd. If you’re not ready to settle down just yet, you may want to wait to adopt a German Shepherd until you’re more permanently located so your dog can adapt to your lifestyle as smoothly as possible.
 
You Have an Allergy
 
You may have a dog allergy and not even know it, or think your allergy is milder than it is. Allergies can flare up in the presence of a dog, but also in reaction to hair and dander left around the house. Some people are more sensitive to certain breeds than others, so if you’re thinking about adopting a German Shepherd but aren’t sure how you’ll react, spend some time around one and see how your allergy responds. If your allergy is mild and can be managed with medication, adoption may be possible but otherwise it is not recommended.
 
Adopting a German Shepherd is an exciting experience. Pet ownership is rewarding, but it also requires a lot of responsibility and should not be taken lightly. At Ulvilden German Shepherds, we are committed to helping you feel fully prepared for taking home your very own German Shepherd. For more information about how to care for you German Shepherd and to adopt one for your household, contact us today!

Surprising Facts About German Shepherd

One of the most popular dog breeds, German Shepherds make great guard dogs, service animals as well as family-friendly pets. While German Shepherds may have exploded in popularity, there are still some things you may not know about this kind and beautiful breed. If you have a German Shepherd at home or you’re interested in learning more about them, here are some surprising German Shepherd facts.

German Shepherds Have a History in Film

German Shepherds don’t just make great pets—they also make great actors. Two of the most famous German Shepherds in Hollywood are Strongheart and Rin Tin Tin.

Rin Tin Tin was only a puppy when he was rescue from a bombed-out kennel in France during World War I. After coming to his new home in America, Rin Tin Tin rose to fame by staring in movies alongside the biggest film stars of the 1920s. Before him a retired police dog named Strongheart charmed American filmgoers with his onscreen charisma.

German Shepherds Were The Original Service Dog

Did you know that the first seeing eye dog was a German Shepherd? Buddy, a female German Shepherd, helped to guide her owner Morris Frank during the 1920s. After the success of the project, seeing eye dogs became more widely available for people with impaired vision. Nowadays, service dogs can help assist people dealing with a variety of disabilities.

German Shepherds Like To Show Off

German Shepherds have one of the strongest work ethics of any dog breed. They love a challenge, and they thrive when put to work to accomplish a new task. If you want to have some fun with your German Shepherd, they love to learn new and impressive tricks. In fact, one German Shepherd puppy was reported to have learned 100 tricks by her first birthday!

German Shepherds are a hard-working and fun-loving breed of dog. For more information about these beautiful and special dogs and to learn about our adoption process, contact us today at Ulvilden German Shepherds.

Common German Shepherd Health Issues: What You Need to Know

German Shepherds are generally very active, happy and healthy dogs. Just like any animal, they can experience health issues from time to time, especially with age. At Ulvilden German Shepherds, we are dedicated to providing new dog owners with all the information necessary to ensure that their dogs have the healthiest and happiest experience possible. Here is some more information about health issues that can plague German Shepherds and what you can do to help.

Perianal Fistula

This is a disease that is characterized by draining openings on the skin around the anus, commonly seen in German Shepherds. This condition can make it difficult for your dog to defecate properly and cause cause irritation. Many treatment options are available for this condition—sometimes a simple dietary change is enough to counter this uncomfortable disease. If you notice that your dog is having trouble going number two, bring them to a vet as soon as possible for a professional diagnosis and treatment options.

Megaesophagus

Megaesophagus is a condition that affects your German Shepherd’s throat. Megaesophagus is characterized by a limp esophagus, one that is unable to normally pass food down to the stomach to be digested. Megaesophagus is a congenital problem in German Shepherds so signs tend to show early, such as regurgitation when being weened to a solid diet. Management of this condition is an ongoing process and may involve a number of solutions including elevated feeding or a liquid diet.

Hip Dysplasia

This is a common condition among dogs, German Shepherds included. Hip dysplasia occurs when there is a misalignment between the ball and socket of the hip joint that can cause pain and discomfort and lead to osteoarthritis. Although hip dysplasia is genetic in origin, improved breeding practices have significantly reduced the prevalence of the chronic condition in German Shepherds.

Health issues can affect even the most well maintained dogs, so it’s important to understand all the risks associated with German Shepherds before adoption. To learn more about how to help keep your German Shepherd as healthy and happy as possible, contact us today at Ulvilden German Shepherds.

Fun and Games with Your German Shepherd

Now that spring is approaching, you and your German Shepherd have the opportunity to get some exercise outside. After a long, cold winter, your German Shepherd is probably chomping at the bit to get outside and run around. Playing outside with your dig is not only important for their physical health—it can also help strengthen your relationship. Dogs are social creatures and playing games with them is a great way build friendship and trust. Games are also a great way to teach your dog commands an improve their obedience in a way that’s relaxed and entertaining. Here are a few ideas of games to try the next time you and your German Shepherd are flocking around outside.

Tug of War

Tug of war is a great way of practicing commands with your German Shepherd. The secret to this game is to always be in control. It’s important to choose a particular toy that will be the “tug of war” toy so your dog knows not to play tug of war with every toy. Pick up the toy and encourage your dog to the other end, then give a clear signal that the game has started. When you’re ready for the game to end, give a clear “drop it” command. If your German Shepherd complies, reward them with a treat or another round of tug of war.

Fetch

A classic dog game, fetch is a great way to work on your German Shepherd’s obedience and give them some exercise as well. Fetch requires very minimal effort on your end, so it’s a good game to play if you’re feeling a little tired but your dog is still raring to go. Similar to tug of war, the key to a good game of fetch is an effective “drop it” command—if your German Shepherd doesn’t respond to that command, the game will stop pretty quickly.

Spring is a great time to spend some quality moments playing outside with your German Shepherd. For more training tips and tricks, and to adopted your very own German Shepherd for your household, contact us today at Ulvilden German Shepherds.

Puppy Training Tips for Your German Shepherd

The first few months of living with a German Shepherd puppy are crucial to integrating your dog into your home. It’s important to ensure that your German Shepherd puppy is getting the training it needs during this period. German Shepherds are pack animals—in order to gain their trust, you have to position yourself as the leader of the pack through guidance and authority. Every puppy is different and there is no one-size-fits-all training method, but here are a few general puppy train tips from the canine specialists at Ulvilden German Shepherds.

Response to Positive and Negative Behaviors

One of the most important things to remember when training your German Shepherd puppy is to give the right response to positive and negative behaviors. Your German Shepherd won’t be able to tell right from wrong if you don’t give them any indication. Positive reinforcement helps to encourage good behaviour in the future. When your puppy does something good or responds to your commands or directions, let them know with a “good dog/boy/girl.” You can also implement a treat reward system if you want. Use your vocal tone to discourage negative behaviour as well.

Do’s and Don’ts of Puppy Training

DO:

  • Give a command only once. Show them – again – if they doesn’t get it right.
  • Use a normal tone of voice when you give a command. Your dog’s hearing is quite acute.
  • Be consistent in your actions and expectations.

DON’T:

  • Don’t nag your dog by repeating commands — nagging teaches your puppy to ignore you.
  • Don’t expect your dog to know what the word “no” means.
  • Don’t expect your dog to obey a command you haven’t taught him.
  • Don’t isolate your dog — German Shepherds are a social animal.

With the right care and commitment, training your German Shepherd puppy can be a fun and rewarding experience for both of you. If you’re thinking about adopting a German Shepherd puppy, contact us at Ulvilden German Shepherds and bring a new member of the family home today.